The Green Office Committee met on 2/3/9. Present were Sara, Dave, Juana, Eric, Clint, Judy Monroe, Neta, Kimberly, Margaret, and Scott.
1. Reducing paper usage: Scott proposed an initiative to reduce paper consumption for the year. Neta reported that we ordered 636 reams of paper in 2008 (634 in 2007). At 500 sheets per ream, that’s 318,000 sheets of paper. We discussed various ways to save paper. Some of the suggestions were two-sided printing of intake sheets (can only do with the copiers, not the printers), stop making unnecessary multiple copies, use computers for intake meetings, and stop printing e-mails. We talked about how to measure consumption and update people on our progress. Billy proposed a PUI (paper usage index, pronounced “pooey”) that would track the number of copies made on the copiers, the number of reams ordered, and the number of reams on hand. We talked about how to publicize the effort. Suggestions for slogans included “Think before you print”, “Stop, think, print”, and “Reduce your waste size.” We also talked about holding trainings on how to organize e-mails so that you don’t have to print them, including red flags, follow up notices, folders, and rules. Further training might include how to use software to mark up documents. Everyone needs to know about the address book in Outlook, so they won’t have to print staff rosters. Margaret suggested using a blog to collect other ideas on how to save paper. We also talked about issuing a challenge to other offices, to compete on reducing paper usage (on a percentage basis). Everyone seemed to think that was a good idea. Kimberly showed some posters she found urging people not to use so much paper. Linda reported that the Hotline is now asking all callers if they have e-mail addresses that they use regularly. We discussed the possibility of mailing informational materials to clients, or perhaps links to the webpage.
2. Other items that came up in discussion:
a. Why 2 refrigerators? They both use electricity. Do we really need both? The feeling seemed to be that we need both refrigerators, but that if we could get by with 1, we could save a lot of electricity.
b. Community garden: Judy Monroe had expressed an interest in a community garden. We had a mixed reaction. A few people have their own gardens and don’t want to work on another. Other people aren’t interested in gardening. A couple of people, however, were interested. Someone volunteered a yard. The decision was made that Scott would send out an e-mail to gauge interest.
c. Sara found post-it notes made from recycled paper. Neta will check on the price.
d. Someone suggested that we look into getting Show, Inc. to pick up our recyclables.
e. Drinking glasses: a couple of people expressed an unwillingness to use glass drinking glasses because the dishwasher does not use hot water.
f. Legal pads: someone said that colored legal pads have more of an environmental impact than white ones. Neta said that she would make sure that we had white ones in stock. Some people apparently use color coding systems in their files. We’ll have to find out more about the environmental impact and any uses people have for colored legal pads. Everyone talked about their favorite colors and the colors they particularly dislike.
a. Billy and Scott
b. Set up computers for easy two-sided printing
c. Billy, Scott and Neta
i. Come up with Paper Usage Index, plus base line for paper stock.
i. Explore how to reduce paper in intake process
ii. Encourage law office staff to find ways to reduce needless printing
iii. Research impact of colored legal pads; find out who uses color coding
iv. Send out e-mail to gauge interest in community garden
v. Check with Show, Inc., about picking up our ecyclables
vi. Check with OKC about a paper reduction challenge for all of the offices
vii. Check about hot water for dishwasher.
i. Train people on how to use blog to share paper-saving ideas
f. Margaret, Kimberly and Judy Monroe
i. Committee to publicize campaign to reduce paper usage
ii. Put up Kimberly’s posters at strategic points around the office
i. Encourage Hotline staff to:
reduce needless printing
use two-sided printing
e-mail hotline info to clients who have e-mail addresses they use.
g. Linda and Margaret
i. Review info that the Hotline sends out, including info sheets, forms and brochures, to see if we can get them all on the website, so that Hotline attorneys can e-mail links, rather than attaching documents. Make sure that Hotline attorneys have easy access to those links.
i. Check cost of recycled post-it notes compared to unrecycled
ii. Make sure we have white legal pads (for now, in addition to our usual assortment of pastels)
4. Next regular meeting May 12th, 3:00 P.M.